Ammodramus is a genus of birds in the family Passerellidae, in the group known as American sparrows. Birds of this genus are known commonly as Grassland sparrows.[1] The name Ammodramus is from the Greek for "sand runner".[2]

Yellow-crowned Sparrow.jpg
Yellow-browed sparrow (A. aurifrons)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passerellidae
Genus: Ammodramus
Swainson, 1827

See text


Passerherbulus Maynard, 1895

These birds live in grassland habitat. Some Ammodramus are socially monogamous and both parents care for the young. Other species are polygynous with no pair bonding and no paternal care.[3]

Numerous species have been included in this genus, but have been reclassified into different genera by sources such as Birdlife International. Former and current species in this genus include:[1][4][5]


The fossil Ammodramus hatcheri (Late Miocene of Kansas, United States) was formerly placed in genus Palaeospiza or Palaeostruthus. The former may not be a passeriform at all, while the latter was eventually synonymized with Ammodramus, as A. hatcheri scarcely differs from the living species.[6]


  1. ^ a b Ammodramus. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
  2. ^ Beedy, E. C., E. R. Pandolfino, and K. Hansen. Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status, and Distribution. University of California Press. 2013. Page 314.
  3. ^ Hill, C. E., & Post, W. (2005). Extra-pair paternity in seaside sparrows. Journal of Field Ornithology, 76(2), 119-126.
  4. ^ Ammodramus.
  5. ^ "BirdLife Data Zone". Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  6. ^ Steadman, D. W., & McKitrick, M. C. (1982). A Pliocene bunting from Chihuahua, Mexico. The Condor, 84(2), 240-241.